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Re: Lucent Technologies & Sun Microsystems



>> I like the NC concept -- it's time for a whole new generation to learn
> first-hand why time-sharing systems of the late-70s/early-80s were a bad
> thing, because people who should know better seem to have forgotten.

>I had the same initial reaction. Didn't we do this before and hasn't the
last decade been devoted to moving computing to the edge of the network? 

How about the last TWO decades... ever since the first commercially successful 
LAN, The ARC System, introduced in 1977!!!

>Then I realized that the transitor radio seemed silly until you could carry it
in a shirt pocket. There are many pluses to networked computing. Like
reliability (because we can introduce redundancy) 

What's more inherently reliable than distributed host-free computing on a 
peer-to-peer LAN??  And how do you figure to institute redundancy on a 
server-based LAN (especially with something at the client side as brain-dead as 
NCs are)?

>and scalability 

Also a crippling limitation of server-oriented/dumber-client machines.

>and mobility. 

NCs are not likely to be any more "mobile" than a notebook or palmtop PC is.

>NO, I think the market will love NC -- 

I *hope* you're joking!!!

>it is definitely not time-sharing (which by the way was very successful for a 
time) in the same sense. 

No, it's timesharing in rather a different sense.  But still based on much the 
same principle, and motivated by much the same interest.  The people who made 
their living selling "big computers" (the ones with fabulous margins) are 
desperately trying to claw a place into today's market for 'big machines' again, 
and their whole "NC" thing (where the NC degrades to not being much more than a 
windowed dumb terminal) is based on trying to centralize data/processing/control 
again back into the 'hallowed temple'.  :-((

> Of course, its not "free" either. Notice that they cracked some encryption 
scheme a few months back using all the processors on the campus as a network 
computer.

It's not even that difficult.  Processing power is becoming ubiquitous and 
nearly free.  The new TI DSP will be executing up to 2 BILLION instructions per 
second by the end of this year (yes, that's an instruction per every six inches 
of electricity...) and those processors will sell in quantity for less than $100 
each.  (By the way, it was announced here in Dallas today that TI is selling off 
their software division, too... another subsidiary gone, this one sold to 
Sterling Software... so that they can concentrate all their resources and 
attention to the DSP market).

Gordon Peterson
http://www.computek.net/public/gep2/